I decided to do my blog on headaches because it’s a common nuisance for people of all ages, and if you know some of the causes of headaches you can do things to prevent them. New things are constantly being discovered about headaches, the information that is currently known about headaches is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are many different types of headaches, in fact, there are over 200. They’re classified into 2 main groups, primary and secondary. Primary headaches include migraines, a secondary headache means that the headache is a result of something else (e.g. a hemorrhagic stroke). However primary headaches are the most common. Headaches don’t actually cause the brain itself pain, the brain can’t sense pain although the spine and nerve receptors around the brain pick up pain causing a painful ache that feels like it’s in your brain.
Something that inspired me to write this article was that 1/6 Americans suffer from chronic headaches every year, this is around 45 million Americans. You may be asking why this matters in the big picture, well if 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, this causes the adults to not want to work because if you have a headache you’re not going to want to get up for work in the morning, and if you’re a child you’re not going to want to go to school in the morning, this is estimated to cost around 50 billion dollars annually, causing a major economic impact. It’s important for humans to understand what causes of headaches are, and find a way to stop them. Migraines are caused by a reduced blood flow to the cerebral cortex symptoms include sensitivity to light, nausea, throbbing pains, and vomiting. Tension headaches are less severe, but still a major problem, they’re caused by muscle strains in the back and neck or emotional stress. Tension headaches are often triggered by eye straining (poor eyesight). Lastly there are cluster headaches which occur over a period of weeks or months, it’s still unknown to what actually causes cluster headaches, and scientists believe it has something to do with an outside substance causing a change to the blood flow around the eyes and sides of the head (where cluster headaches usually occur). Alcohol is believed to be one of the triggers of cluster headaches.
Although the underlying cause to headaches is still currently unknown a solution is on the horizon. Migraines were thought to be caused by a circulatory system disease and scientists are now beginning to doubt that many scientists today believe that migraines are actually caused by the brain itself. They believe that migraines are actually caused by nerves inside the brain that misfire and cause destruction. Blood vessels however do play a role in cluster and tension headaches, when nerves inside the brain misfire, it can cause blood vessels to become large which triggers a type of tension in the head that everybody has felt in their life, where your head feels like it’s going to explode from the immense pressure coming from the inside. Drugs are currently being worked on to block these cells from telling the blood vessels to become larger, this would be a cure for tension and cluster headaches, but migraines are a slightly different concept. Migraines are thought to be caused not only by the brain, but also genetics. There is a gene that some people have that has been named the “migraine gene” that effects neurological receptors in the brain causing some cells to become too jumpy at times when they are supposed to be settled down.
In conclusion headaches are very complex, but there are simple ways to prevent them, and advance ways to prevent them. It can be as simple as taking a step back and relieving yourself of stress, headaches are a serious problem and a solution needs to be found.
How do you cure your headaches?
Do you think there is a definite cure for headaches?
What do you think causes headaches?